Pacers pull away with 47-point 3rd quarter, beat Bucks 142-130 for 5th straight win
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Tyrese Haliburton had 31 points and 12 assists and the Indiana Pacers pulled away with a 47-point third quarter, beating Milwaukee 142-130 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory and second over the Bucks in three days.
Bennedict Mathurin added 16 points for the Pacers. Indiana ended Milwaukee’s 15-game home winning streak Monday and is 4-1 against the Bucks this season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for Milwaukee, falling just short of his fourth triple-double of the season. Damian Lillard added 23 points and five assists, and Khris Middleton overcame a sprained right wrist and a sore right knee to finish with 19 points and seven assists.
The Central Division foes have gotten awfully familiar, playing five times in 54 days — including the In-Season Tournament semifinal in Las Vegas. Four games have produced combined scoring totals of at least 247 points, and the series also became emotional and chippy.
A dispute over a missing game ball led to a bizarre postgame scene in December when Antetokounmpo sprinted toward the Indiana locker room. Bucks forward Bobby Portis was ejected from one game and in Las Vegas, Haliburton drew the ire of some for imitating Lillard by pointing toward his wrist after making a late 3-pointer as the Bucks were about to be eliminated.
The final regular-season game in this series only added fuel to the fire.
Indiana fans repeatedly counted the seconds it took Antetokounmpo took to shoot free throws, the Milwaukee bench was called for a technical in the third quarter and Lillard and Mathurin exchanged words between the third and fourth quarters.
Then in a foul-prone fourth as Pacers swingman Buddy Hield threw a pass off the backboard to the trailing Isaiah Jackson for a dunk to make it 118-100 with 9:41 to play and after a Milwaukee timeout, Antetokounmpo was knocked hard to the ground, instigating a shoving match between Milwaukee rookie Andre Jackson Jr. and Obi Toppin. Both drew technical fouls.
But the difference in this game was Indiana’s third-quarter eruption.
Milwaukee emerged from a back-and-forth first half with a 68-66 lead, but the Pacers opened the second half on a 21-6 run, extended the lead to 113-97 after three quarters and the Bucks couldn’t get closer than 10 the rest of the game.
Bucks: At San Antonio on Thursday night.
Pacers: Host Atlanta on Friday night. Pregame at 6 p.m. on KFIZ.